ATLANTA—The Indigo Road Hospitality Group, the Charleston, SC-based restaurant group that owns and operates 24 restaurants throughout the Southeast, unveiled its venture into the hotel management and consulting space. Under the leadership of seasoned industry veteran Larry Spelts, the team will launch two boutique projects in 2020.
Spelts joins The Indigo Road as a partner and president of the new lodging & lifestyle adventures division, invited by founder and managing partner Steve Palmer. The two first met 20 years ago, working at Charleston’s Relais & Châteaux Planters Inn, expanding the hotel and opening the Peninsula Grill.
Following that project, Spelts continued his lifestyle development and management career, securing more than 30 development and management deals to date, including hotels, restaurants, spas, co-working spaces and social and fitness clubs. Leveraging his strategic leadership experience, Spelts has had the opportunity to establish three hospitality companies, including Texas-based Village Hospitality, which spearheaded the programming for a $500-million, 500,000-sq.-ft. mixed-use development, now operated by the group. His recent work includes time at The Carlyle luxury hotel in New York and serving as president and chief development officer at Expotel Hospitality Services, preceded by time as VP of business development with Charlestowne Hotels.
“As we looked to begin this next chapter for The Indigo Road, the hotel industry was a natural fit, given our current concepts coupled with our passion for hospitality,” said Palmer. “Larry is a longtime friend, and I’ve respected his work over the years. I look forward to working alongside him as these next two projects come to fruition.”
Currently, The Indigo Road operates food and beverage operations within Atlanta’s Hotel Clermont: the lobby café and bar, rooftop bar and downstairs French-American brasserie, Tiny Lou’s. The new division will offer a hands-on approach to hotel management and advisory services, integrating the company’s F&B operations experience with additional hospitality services, including property management and operations, financial structures and revenue strategy, sales, marketing and design.
“It is my experience that restaurant development and operations often present some of the greatest obstacles to a hotel’s success. With The Indigo Road’s expertise in food and beverage, we are poised to build an attractive portfolio of lifestyle-focused boutique hotels,” said Spelts. “Steve and I have a special connection, and I have admired what he has accomplished professionally, socially and personally. Our new venture feels more like a long overdue reunion of friends and colleagues than a business deal.”
To kick off the year and this new venture, Palmer and Spelts will attend the Americas Lodging Investment Conference in Los Angeles later this month.